Simple SEO for Nonprofit Writers: Showing Up in Search Is About Well-Written Content

seo nonprofit organizations marketing

Simple SEO is not simple, but we can show you some of the basic SEO techniques you can use today.

Simple SEO is an essential part of any business that wants to attract quality traffic to its website. SEO for nonprofits writers is crucial because they can’t afford to spend money on paid advertising and traditional marketing activities. 

SEO for nonprofits writers is an effective way to get website traffic without spending a lot on paid marketing.

Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds exotic and can seem overwhelming for many of us. As writers, we’d much rather work with words, not computer code. But good SEO is necessary to compete for space on the search engines…even for nonprofits.

Results like this require a mobile-first approach with tuned modern SEO practices as seen done by Matrix Marketing Group.

The good news is that most SEO happens right in the content that you write. Good SEO happens naturally (or “organically,” as the SEO experts like to say) when you write good content.

Google and Simple SEO

Google drives most searchers to your nonprofit website. But Google today is different than it was just a couple of years ago. That’s because Google is getting better.

Google decided that too many people and organizations were “gaming” its system, and it was concerned that low-quality content was floating to the top of the search pages (SERP), crowding out the good stuff. So Google started tweaking its formulas for what went where.

This has caused considerable angst among websites, but it is a good thing. You see, Google wants to reward good quality content that satisfies their searchers’ needs. Google’s standards are pretty simple when you get right down to it. It wants content that is written for the reader, and that is high quality.

While this is a good thing ultimately, it does mean that we’ve all had to go back to the basics of good thinking and writing. And we may have to fix many things that we did when the standards were laxer.

So what are the new rules? Well, you can make yourself crazy reading all the SEO material out there.

And, if you’re like me, you may only understand a small part of it, because it can get pretty techno.

But some simple guidelines can be extracted from all the analyses. So forget the hard-to-understand stuff and start with what is easy to grasp and to do.

Write for the Reader

Forget the search engines and write to be understood by a real person. Use everyday language, exemplary grammar, and spelling, and organize what you write in logical chunks that make sense. Try to imagine one particular person you are writing for and settle down into an easy conversational style.

Don’t assume your reader knows much about your topic. Explain everything thoroughly and avoid jargon and insider terms. Use “universal design” as your template.

That’s when we design accessibility into everything we produce. Even someone who doesn’t need the maximum accessibility won’t mind having it available, while those who need it will love it. In other words, don’t worry about being too simple. Don’t think of it as dumbing down but as providing the greatest possible access.

Write Frequently

Search engines like Google love fresh meat. But so do readers. A blog is a great way to make sure that you’re satisfying that craving for new. Your blog posts can link to more evergreen material deeper within your site, too, boosting the rankings for those longer and fuller articles.

Writing more means that you will have plenty of inventory for your newsletters and your social media. Woody Allen (a writer, by the way) said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Well, writing frequently is showing up.

Use Keywords, but Very Carefully

It’s a good idea to do preliminary keyword research. You can find out what people typically search for within your field and the phrases they use to find things.

Once you know that, use those keywords or phrases once each in your meta-title, your meta description, your actual title for your article or blog post, and then sparingly in your copy. 

Remember keyword stuffing, where you’d put keywords everywhere, repetitively? Don’t do that anymore. It’s not how you would write for a real person, and now search engines will dislike you for doing it.

Make Your Headline Count

Nothing is more important than a good headline. It must reflect what your article or blog post is about, and it must compete well among the mass of headlines that searchers will be scrolling through.

It should be both interesting and practical. When trying to decide between crazily creative and helpful, go for the latter. You’re writing evergreen content, so create a headline that will inform and attract over the long haul. Save the catchiest phrases and your most edgy stuff for blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates.

Don’t Worry About Writing Long Articles

Write concisely, but as much as you need to explain your topic. Anticipate what your reader wants to know and cover it. You will likely find yourself going longer rather than shorter. Long copy works just fine if you format it in a way that moves the reader’s eye efficiently through the page.

Format Sensibly

Short paragraphs (six or eight lines) and short sentences are easier to read on a screen. Use subheads to break up your content and make it easy to scan by using bulleted lists.

One good tip is that if you find yourself separating more than a couple of ideas with commas or semicolons, consider turning them into a list. A dense copy is your enemy, especially now that so many people read your content on their smartphones.

Embed Links in Your Copy Paired with Simple SEO Tips

But don’t use too many. Be judicious, and don’t clutter your copy with links. Make sure that those links make sense and are relevant to your topic. Some links should go to other content on your website.

The rest can go to outside sources. Don’t use links instead of writing. Links should provide more in-depth information or resources, not take the place of your explanation of that particular point.

Include a Short List of Related Content

Don’t list 20 articles. Less is more. Your reader will get tired of trying to decide which link to follow. If you must add more than three or four, break them up into topical chunks with titles.

Think of related links as a form of navigation for your reader. Help readers go deeper by finding more relevant information about the topic at hand. Make those links purposeful, not just bids for more page views.

Include a Photo on Most of Your Web Pages

Readers love photos, and the web is becoming increasingly visual. Make the photo relevant, include a caption, and fill out the ALT Tag for each one.

Use the photos that your organization has taken, not stock photos. Show the people you serve, volunteers doing their thing, events where people have fun, endearing photos, inspirational photos, and funny photos. Buy some good photo equipment and make sure that it is used. Do the search engines care? Well, they do notice when people linger on your pages and that they share them with their friends. Great images help with both of those.

Don’t Duplicate Material

Avoid duplication within a page (for instance, don’t use your article’s first sentence for the meta description). And avoid duplication within your website.

Please don’t pick up blocks of content from other pages and put them into this page. We all have created “boilerplate” information to save time. Just repeating that on your website can hurt you. Save the boilerplate for other uses. Make all of your website copy unique.

Maintain Your Content

Even evergreen content gets old. Set up a schedule and system for updating content with new information, recent statistics, and cutting-edge insights. Find dead links and change or delete them. Focus maintenance first on your most popular content. For content that is receiving less traffic, rethink the keywords, recheck the metadata, refresh the copy, and make sure that you’re linking to that content from your more popular pages.

Promote Your Content on Social Channels

Social authority has become a key driver of SEO. That means that you must promote your content through social media. But keep it simple. Set up a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn for starters. 

Where you hang out on social media depends on the goals of your organization. Do provide social media icons on your website so that readers can share all of your content. The more sharing, the more “authority” your content will carry for the search engines.

Wrap up On Simple SEO for Nonprofit Writers

The latest SEO rules are simple and under your control. The new rules are the old rules. We just got sidetracked and neglected them. Stay calm, pay attention to the basics, and keep showing up.

We’re listening.

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About the author: Alissa Zucker is an experienced essay writer at the English homework help Mcessay. She used to work as a content writer. Having decided to start a freelance career, she fired. Currently, she has enough time for her hobbies and family caring.

General FAQs

What is a nonprofit company?

nonprofit organization qualifies for tax-exempt status by the IRS because its mission and purpose are to further a social cause and provide a public benefitNonprofit organizations include hospitals, universities, national charities, and foundations.

How can SEO help Nonprofit companies?

SEO is as important for nonprofit organizations as it is for businesses and uses many of the same SEO marketing strategies to connect with donors and volunteers.

What is SEO for nonprofit businesses?

A performance-based website is one of the most important assets any organization can have tuned with SEO. Readily available information, intuitive design, powerful storytelling, and prominent calls to action can help nonprofits achieve their goals.

Is SEO worth it for nonprofit business?

Time is a valuable asset in SEO, and the longer you delay investing in a successful SEO campaign, the longer it will take to garner the free traffic. Yes, SEO is a valuable investment and is worth the investment. You’re building an asset for your company by investing in SEO.

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